Effective communication has been an increasingly important part of my life since moving to Albany on a few fronts. The first is at my new job. We work in a large open room, and we’re a small team. You’d think communication would be pretty simple, but it’s not. That’s just how it works. Most all of us communicate frequently through a messenger, leading to a high risk of misinterpretation or excluding someone from a conversation; intentionally or unintentionally. It was an adjustment that I wasn’t really ready to make, and I didn’t know I wasn’t ready to make it.
Despite being a “young kid” with that “darn technology,” I really have yet to master effective communication using messengers, texts, and email. I much prefer a face to face conversation or phone call. Not only does this not quite align with my current job, it doesn’t really fit in the rest of my life either:
Meeting new people: I’ve looked to websites like MeetUps to meet friends. This requires a little extra effort on my part to re-introduce my self to people through the chat feature. Then, this also means I have to check back in fairly frequently, something I forget to do.
Continuing to work for the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus: Quite obviously, every time I need to ask a question or communicate with the rest of my staff, I have to do it through email. Even though this was the process most often when I lived in Rochester anyway, it still feels a little different. Now, I’m skype-calling in to board meetings, and using email more often than I ever have before.
Maintaining old friendships and keeping in touch: I hate texting. More specifically, I hate texting long stories to people. I view texting as a quick way to update people. “I’m here,” “Want to grab dinner tonight?” “Can you call me at 7?” All quick, simple, and helpful to me, especially if I can’t get to my phone right away. I hate telling stories over a text message, but lately, I’ve had to. Many of my friends love texting. It becomes the way we keep in touch on a near-daily basis. Of course I love this opportunity, but hate the process. To tell someone a story over a text message may take me two or three minutes, where if I were simply telling it to their face, it would take thirty seconds. What then happens is I just end up skipping out on those small stories, and suddenly, our relationship has changed. That example was a bit drastic, but happens to me on a small scale.
There’s no real solution here, other than suck it up and deal with it, but maybe that’s not the only one. What’s the best way to effectively communicate when there’s so many barriers associated with digital messaging?